Monday, April 22, 2013

salt pork shoulder and french lentils (petit salé aux lentilles)

I've been on a nostalgic culinary kick as of late, so I tried to recreate this French staple family meal as this used to be one of my favorite dish when I was a kid.

And while I was at it, I decided to cure the meat myself, just for kicks ;)

Hope you'll like it!

INGREDIENTS (for 4 people, or 1 with tons of leftovers):
- 1.5 lbs french lentils, rinsed and drained
- 4 lbs bone in salted pork shoulder, desalted (if you can't find salted pork shoulder, you can make it yourself. Click here for the recipe. Note: it takes a few days to cure and an extra overnight step for desalting, so plan in advance)
- 2 large carrots, peeled
- 2 large onions
- 2 bay leaves
- a few sprigs of dried thyme
- a pinch of ground cloves
- water
- pepper to taste, NO extra salt

- put the desalted pork shoulder, one of the onions (quartered), ground cloves, and a pinch of pepper in a deep pot, cover with a lot of cold water (about two inches above the meat)

- bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 2 hours
Note: make sure you skim the surface of the water regularly of the foam that will form
- remove the by-now-overcooked onion bits, and slice the carrots and remaining onion

- add the vegetables, lentils, thyme and bay leaves to the boiled meat

- cook on medium-low heat for 45 minutes, or until the lentils are tender
- slice the meat and drain the lentils and cooked veggies
Note: keep the boiling liquid to make a soup, or for reheating leftovers. It freezes really well too!

- serve hot with a nice glass of red wine

- Enjoy!

PS: this dish freezes really well, and tastes even better reheated!

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